Sick Building Syndrome? What Is It?
What Is Sick Building Syndrome?
- The sick building syndrome comprises various nonspecific symptoms that occur in the occupants of a building. This feeling of ill health increases sickness absenteeism and causes a decrease in productivity of the occupants.
- Occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building.
Symptoms related directly to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) Include:
- Headache, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose, throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odors, hoarseness of voice, allergies, colds, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks, and personality changes.
Most symptoms and complaints subside soon after leaving the contaminated building, although lingering effects of neurotoxins can occur.
There are various factors that can degrade indoor air quality and cause SBS; the following factors can be directly responsible for Sick Building Syndrome:
The most common contaminant of indoor air includes volatile organic compounds (VOC). The main sources of VOC are adhesives, upholstery, carpeting, copy machines, manufactured wood products, pesticides, cleaning agents, etc. Environmental tobacco smoke, respirable particulate matter, combustion byproducts from the stove, fireplace, and unvented space heater also increase the chemical contamination. Synthetic fragrances in personal care products or in cleaning and maintenance products also contribute to contamination.
The biological contaminants include pollen, bacteria, viruses, fungus, molds, etc. These contaminants can breed in stagnant water that has accumulated in humidifiers, drainpipes, and ducts or where water has collected on ceiling tiles, insulation, carpets, and upholstery.
Recent scientific research by the EPA has shown that indoor air quality is far worse than the outside air. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
In conclusion, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Here at Guaranteed Property and Mold Inspections, we take your family’s health very seriously and one of our highest priorities. If you suspect that your home or office is making you sick, please call us at 949-230-6800. We have full inspectors that can complete a full assessment and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) testing of your home or office to discover the source of contamination. We can develop a complete remediation protocol to help you on your journey of creating a Healthy Home!